Dr. Michael Berry is a Professor Emeritus of Health and Exercise Science. Dr. Berry completed his undergraduate degree at Jacksonville State University in Alabama, his master's degree at Southeast Louisiana University, and his Ph.D. at Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Wake Forest in 1985, Dr. Berry completed post-doctoral training at the University of North Carolina. He teaches a variety of classes including: statistics at the undergraduate and graduate level, human physiology at the undergraduate level and an advanced exercise physiology class. Dr. Berry's early research interest was in the control of respiration during exercise which eventually led to his interest in the role exercise plays in the rehabilitation of those with lung disease. Dr. Berry was the principal investigator on the two large randomized clinical trials funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute that investigated how exercise can be used to improve physical and cognitive function in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how best to promote regular physical activity in these patients. More recently, Dr. Berry's research has centered around improving function in intensive care unit patients with acute respiratory failure and the role that exercise can play in improving function in individuals with Long COVID.
HES 262 – Statistics in the Health Sciences
HES 350 – Human Physiology
HES 675 - Advanced Physiology of Exercise
HES 721 – Data Analysis and Interpretation
A list of publications can be seen at: Michael Berry, PhD Publications
The Nutrition and EXercise Interventional Study in critically ill patients (NEXIS) is a randomized clinical trial of combined cycle ergometry exercise and amino acid infusion in intensive care unit (ICU) patients. More than 750,000 Americans require mechanical ventilation annually, and the mortality and morbidity rate has traditionally been high. With recent improvements in ICU care, mortality rates are decreasing. However, survivors experience substantial long-term morbidity, including muscle weakness and persistent impairments in physical functioning, which are associated with prolonged ventilation and hospital length of stay, decreased quality of life, increased costs, and decreased long-term survival. Because of our aging population, the incidence of critical illness is projected grow with an 80% increase by 2026. Thus, new strategies to improve physical outcomes of ICU survivors are needed. Evidence suggest that both exercise and protein intake are beneficial to survivors of an ICU stay. Despite this existing evidence, rigorous, multi-site randomized trials proving the benefit of increased protein intake combined with exercise are needed. The NEXIS trial is one such study that will test whether the combined intervention will: (1) improve physical functioning at hospital discharge; (2) reduce muscle wasting with improved amino acid metabolism and protein synthesis in-hospital; and (3) improve health-related quality of life, physical functioning, and healthcare resource utilization at 6 months after enrollment.
A Study Promoting Critical Illness Recovery in the Elderly (ASPIRE) is testing the hypothesis that the early application of a novel rehabilitation therapy in older critically ill patients will improve functional outcomes and change the functional trajectory of these patients. Previous research has shown that early physical therapy may benefit these patients. This study will examine the effect of early physical therapy including the use of an in-bed cycle ergometer that will allow physical therapy to be applied earlier than previously done. Outcomes include the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), handgrip strength, ICU and hospital length of stay and healthcare utilization.
Reconditioning Exercise for COVID-19 patients Experiencing Residual sYmptoms (RECOVERY) is a pilot study examining the effects of a three-month aerobic and strength training exercise intervention on physical function in individuals who had COVID-19 and have cleared the virus, but who are still experiencing symptoms such as dyspnea (i.e. shortness of breath), musculoskeletal aches and pains, fatigue and/or mental confusion. Up to two thirds of patients with milder forms of COVID-19 report symptoms up to two months after the onset of the disease. This condition is now referred to as Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (PASC) or Long COVID. Outcome measures include exercise capacity, physical function, health related quality of life and fatigue levels.